Spero Gust Tsikalas

Nov. 7, 1928 – Aug. 5, 2020


Spero Gust Tsikalas, 91, Ebensburg, died Wednesday at UPMC Altoona (Palliative Care). He was born in Uniontown, son of Gust D. Tsikalas and Anna Niarhous-Hixenbaugh.

He was preceded in death by his parents; stepmothers: Ann Marie (Minarchick) and Maria; brothers: Jimmy, Gust Jr. and John; sister, Angeline; and sister-in-law, Frances “FoFo” Tsikalas.

Surviving are his wife, the former Jean (Duman); these children and their families: daughter, Paula (Dr. J. Philip) Hall of Altoona; granddaughters: Angela (Patrick) Ross, Rachel (Chad) Lauver and great-granddaughters: Nora and Claire; granddaughters: Patricia Hall, Dr. Jaclyn (Abraham) Waddell and great-grandson, Odin; son, Perry (Kimberly) of Lilly; granddaughter, Kelsey (Matthew) Riehle and a great grandchild who is expected in October, and grandsons: Christopher, Chad and Jacob; son, Robert of Dunmore; grandchildren: Robert II and Kamryn; daughter, Lisa of Ebensburg; grandson, Brandon; son, Patrick of Ebensburg; grandchildren: Gino and Luca; and son, Brian (Jeannette) of Latrobe; and granddaughter, Chloe. Spero is also survived by a brother, Michael (Anna) of Ebensburg; sisters-in-law: Marcia of Lititz and Sally of The Villages, Fla.; Hixenbaugh siblings: William, Fred, Paul, Carol and Charles; and many nieces and nephews.

Spero was a short-order cook and owner of Hi Way Diner (est. 1935) until 1998. He was proud to serve as an Aviation Boatswain’s Mate 3 in the U.S. Navy from 1949-53 aboard USS Kearsarge and Valley Forge in Japan and the Mediterranean. He was a Korean War Veteran.

He was a lifetime member of American Legion and VFW. He coached men’s softball, Ebensburg Little League (Covitch) and American Legion Baseball (30+ years), was a Democratic Committee person, bingo and festival worker for Holy Name. He loved all sports, especially Pittsburgh Pirates and Steelers, playing cards and spending time with his extended family, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. He enjoyed traveling and making many friends. He loved people.

The family would like to thank Cambridge Ebensburg (Rebekah Manor) and UPMC Altoona for caring for Spero.

Friends will be received from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020, at the Matevish & Matevish Funeral Home, Ebensburg. There will be a funeral Mass at 11 a.m. Monday, Aug. 10, 2020 at Holy Name Catholic Church, Ebensburg, celebrated by the Rev. Brian Warchola. Entombment will be in Holy Name Mausoleum, Ebensburg. Due to the coronavirus, please wear a mask and maintain social distance practices at the funeral home.